Qatar says ‘inaccurate’ data in Belgian corruption probe

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Authorities have charged 4 individuals, together with a European Parliament vice chairman, over alleged affect marketing campaign.

A Qatari official has mentioned {that a} Belgian investigation into an alleged try and affect the European Parliament relied on “inaccurate” data and will “negatively” affect relations between the 2 international locations.

The assertion on Sunday from a diplomat of Qatar’s mission to the European Union reiterated a earlier rejection of makes an attempt to affiliate the Gulf nation with misconduct.

“Qatar was not the only party named in the investigation, yet our country has been exclusively criticised and attacked,” the assertion mentioned. “We have observed this week’s selective condemnation of our country with great alarm.”

According to media reviews, Moroccan pursuits additionally face scrutiny within the investigation.

The diplomat added: “It is deeply disappointing that the Belgian government made no effort to engage with our government to establish the facts once they became aware of the allegations.”

Four individuals – together with Eva Kaili, a Greek European Parliament vice chairman – have been charged in Belgium after investigators mentioned a sequence of raids uncovered about 1.5 million euros ($1.59m).

Prosecutors mentioned the cash was a part of an affect marketing campaign by a Gulf state, which numerous media shops later recognized as Qatar, the nation presently internet hosting the 2022 World Cup.

Last week, the European Parliament voted to droop Qatari representatives’ entry to the physique. Members additionally paused legislative work associated to Qatar, together with a visa waiver for Qataris and Kuwaitis travelling to the bloc and an EU-Qatar aviation settlement.

The Qatari diplomat condemned these strikes on Sunday, saying they had been untimely.

“The decision to impose such a discriminatory restriction that limits dialogue and cooperation on Qatar before the legal process has ended will negatively affect regional and global security cooperation, as well as ongoing discussions around global energy, poverty and security,” the diplomat mentioned.

The assertion additionally highlighted the “close” relationship between Qatar and Belgium.

“Our nations cooperated during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Qatar is an important supplier of LNG [liquified natural gas] to Belgium,” it mentioned.

Kaili, a socialist as soon as thought-about an ascendent Greek politician, was dismissed from her function as a European Parliament vice chairman following the arrest. She was additionally dismissed from the Greek socialist PASOK social gathering.

EU legislators have warned that the allegations threat undermining the bloc’s credibility.

For its half, Qatar has maintained because the allegation emerged that its authorities “works through institution-to-institution engagement and operates in full compliance with international laws and regulations”.